20 Design Do’s and Dont’s to Make Your Airbnb Stand Out | Architectural Digest

With roughly seven million listings around the world, competition is stiff to make your Airbnb pop on the platform. In fact, the online rental marketplace just raised the stakes even more with the announcement of their OMG! Fund. Celebrating wildly unique homes and their new OMG! category—which includes a boot, UFO House, and a six-ton potato—Airbnb will award a total of $10 million to fund the 100 craziest ideas for new listings.

Now, a sizable spud is admittedly a showstopper. But we’ve gathered Airbnb tips from top hosts and know that you don’t need gargantuan produce or oversized footwear to still get an “OMG!” reaction from guests. A bold paint job, a thoughtful theme, or a single iconic piece of furniture can inspire squeals of delight as well. Here are 20 do’s and don’ts to make your Airbnb shine.

DO incorporate subtle prop styling

Research has shown that dreaming about a trip can be the happiest part of the travel journey, so feed vacation anticipation with light staging. Show potential guests how they can live their best life on your property. Place matching coffee mugs on a patio bistro table, a puzzle on a desk near a window with an exceptional view, or a pair of towels and wineglasses near a hot tub, like this Big Sky, Montana stay. 

DON’T show pics with people

You want travelers to picture themselves in your Airbnb. Don’t shatter the illusion by showing you and your family living the dream. This is why it’s best to avoid listing photos with people in them. Similarly, don’t fill the property with personal photos. Whether it’s for a week or just a couple nights, guests want to feel like the home is truly theirs.

DO add local flavor to your walls

Just because you can’t hang family portraits doesn’t mean your walls have to be bare. Hang nature shots from the area, vintage postcards, or a poster from a nearby hotspot. Or, take a page from this Chicago Airbnb and create a gallery wall of local art.

DON’T feature excessive photos from the neighborhood

Inside your home is a great place to feature local flavor, but your listing shouldn’t be filled with area photos. Yes, you may live right around the corner from the Prado, Magnolia Bakery, or the Trevi Fountain, but posting 40 outdoor shots to mask the fact that your place has an old futon and no welcome mat is a no-no. Travelers will be hip to your ruse.

DO channel your inner Marie Kondo

One of the overlooked Airbnb tips for a rental is ignoring that minimalism is better than maximalism. Consider the two-thirds rule: Photograph the space with approximately two-thirds of the furnishings you would normally have in it. This is the time to pare back, even if you’re a sucker for piles of paperbacks and throw pillows IRL. Stash the excess in storage or with friends while you’re away.

DON’T cram your space

There is too much of a good thing—yes, even when it comes to your international collection of salt and pepper shakers. You don’t want guests to suspect that your vacation home is actually a storage facility for garage sale finds. You also don’t want the visitors to maneuver through an obstacle course you just love furniture.

DO style with greenery

Host Ansel Troy gives his bath an extra splash with some greenery.

Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb

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